The volume of papers and forms to complete when selling a property can seem daunting but they provide a valuable source of information to the proposed buyers of your property. If all the necessary information is put together at an early stage in the conveyancing process, ideally when you put the property on the market, then this can prevent delays further down the line.
What title papers do I need when selling a property?
The majority of property sales we deal with involve a title which has been registered with the land registry and as such you may not have any old title deeds. Luckily, no title deeds or land registry certificates are now required to sell a property if the title has been registered. This is because the land registry now hold all titles in an electronic format. If you do have any title documents that you were given when you purchased the property these should still be passed on to your solicitor/conveyancer.
If your property has not changed hands since the 1970s and is local to our offices (e.g. Cheshire, Manchester and Wales) the chances are that the title will not be registered. This is because the land registry phased in the registration process over several decades and for Cheshire, Manchester and Wales registration was not made compulsory until after the 1970s. If your property is not registered, the original title deeds will need to be provided to prove ownership of the property being sold.
The Conveyancing Quality Scheme requires that the Law Society’s conveyancing protocol is followed during the sale of a property. Many solicitors, including myself and Conveyancing team are members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The protocol includes providing the proposed buyers of your property with standard format information forms. The two forms required in all transactions are:
- Fittings and Contents Form: this is where you indicate what items are included or excluded from the sale.
- Property Information Form: this form provides information to the buyers on general matters in relation to the property such as boundary maintenance, changes to the property, flooding and service providers.
In addition to the two standard forms if the property is a leasehold flat or house you will also be asked to complete a Leasehold Information Form which asks for landlord and management company details along with current charges for the property.
Planning and building regulation consents
If the property has been extended or altered you will need to produce evidence of planning permission and building regulation compliance. The original documents will need to be provided as it is common for building regulation certificates, in particular, not to be available on the public websites of local authorities. If you have carried out work at the property and are not sure if you should have obtained consent then a useful resource is to look on the planning portal.
If you do not have the original documents or did not obtain the necessary permissions for changes to your property then please contact your solicitor/conveyancer early on in the process to discuss how this can be addressed with the buyers.
If you have had new windows installed, a new boiler fitted, changes or additions to electrics or even a new drive or patio then you should have received a certificate of compliance from the installer/fitter for building regulation purposes. The professional organisations such as Gas Safe, FENSA, Certass and NICEIC have registers of installations completed by their members and you can obtain duplicate certificates if these have been lost. Although there may be an administration fee charged for this.
If your property is leasehold it is likely to have restrictions within the lease requiring consent to any alterations. It is always best to obtain these consents at the time of the alteration but if none was obtained then the freeholder/landlord will usually issue retrospective consent. However, this would involve an administration fee. It may also be possible to obtain a legal title indemnity policy to cover some situations where consent was not obtained.
There are also similar restrictions on some freehold properties. Any restrictions/covenants should have been pointed out to you at the time of your purchase.
Any guarantees for work which has been carried out at the property or for new installations such as windows will also be required to sell a property. Also the insurance certificates, such as NHBC, will be needed if the property was constructed within the last 10 years. The originals should be provided to your solicitor/conveyancer as soon as possible in the conveyancing process.
For more information about the types of documents you need when selling a property or any other property matters, please contact our property team on 0161 475 7676.
If you are selling an apartment, the list of documents required can differ slightly. You can find out more about this in our blog: What documents do I need when selling an apartment?